YT & YT present Creative Diaspora, a creative mix of art, culture and poetry held every Tuesday in June at Entwine.
Creative Diaspora is a series of conversations between New York based artists and writers whose parents came from the former Soviet Union, giving their children a new life in the United States. Their Russian identity continues to inform or inspire their artistic production. Their visual and literary art reflect the tension inherent in this double identity, a tension simultaneously challenging and productive, bewildering and enlightening. They are part of a large Russophone community, which has taken as part of America’s rich immigrant tradition. In recent years, these artists have begun to play a significant role in New York’s cultural whirl. They enjoy, and are further confirmation of, New York’s reputation as the place to be for aspiring artists. At the same time they have a support system of art spaces, curators and networks dedicated to artists of the Russian and East European diaspora. Their American MFA’s make them simultaneously insiders, and outsiders —as outsider they are able to critique the contemporary art scene in its own language; as insiders they seek their place in the art historical narrative and endeavor to become part of the next phase in the post-modern canon.
The purpose of these evenings is to expose new audiences to these artists and to create new connections between them. We think it is important to renew the once close ties between the visual and literary arts in NYC. We will transcend artistic categories, and converse about freedom, love and home.
YT / YT is a curatorial initiative of Yulia Tikhonova (Brooklyn House of Kulture) and Yulia Topchiy (CoWorker Projects).

Tuesday June 4: Liza Buzytsky, artist, Igor Satanovsky, poet
Tuesday June 11: Irina Rozovsky, artist, Val Vinokur, poet
Tuesday June 18: Sasha Bezzubov, artist, Yola Monakhov, artist, Marina Blitshteyn, poet
Tuesday June 25: Jenia Fridlyand, artist, Polina Barskova, poet
Thursday June 27: Vera Iliatova, artist, Genya Turovskaya, poet

Tuesday June 4
Liza Buzytsky was born in Moscow, Russia and immigrated to Seattle, WA in 1987, growing up in the Pacific Northwest before moving to New York City in 2001. Coming from a long line of weavers, painters and sculptors, creative practice has been integral to her life from a very young age. Being bi-cultural, bi-lingual and bi-coastal, she alternates between a home in her native Northwest and NYC. She completed her BFA in sculpture at Pratt Institute in 2005 and continues to experiment in fibers, plastics and found materials to weave visual narratives based on her personal and cultural history. This fall she is starting the MFA Program in Fibers & Materials studies at Tyler School of Art, Temple University this Fall.
Igor Satanovsky is a bilingual Russian-American poet, translator, visual artist, and an award-winning book designer. Born in Kiev, moved to the United States in 1989, received his BFA in art studio from Brooklyn College in 1994. He is an author of one poetry collection in English, and several poetry collections in Russian. In his work, Satanovsky combines the innovative spirit of Russian Avant-Garde with the cutting edge American poetics. He is currently a Senior Designer at Sterling Publishing; a publisher at Koja Press; and a co-editor of Novaya Kozha, Russian-language magazine.
Tuesday June 11
Irina Rozovsky was born in Moscow and grew up in the Boston area. She received a BA in French and Spanish Literature from Tufts University and an MFA in Photography from Massachusetts College of Art. Her work has been published and exhibited in the United States and abroad. Irina lives in Brooklyn, NY and teaches at the International Center of Photography.
Val Vinokur is director of Jewish Studies and associate professor of Literary Studies at Eugene Lang College / The New School. He is the author of The Trace of Judaism: Dostoevsky, Babel, Mandelstam, Levinas (Northwestern UP), and his poetry, essays, and translations have appeared in McSweeney’s, The Boston Review, New American Writing, Zeek, and The Massachusetts Review. His work as a literary translator has been honored with the Lewis Galantiere Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Tuesday June 18
Sasha Bezzubov is a Brooklyn-based visual artist. A multiple recipient of the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship Award for his work in Vietnam and India, Sasha Bezzubov is a photographer whose work regards the politics and environment of our changing world.
Using the form of landscape photography, a tradition born with industrial expansion, these photographs evidence nature’s force as it reclaims land subdued and ruled by a myopic civilization. Bezzubov received his MF from Yale University
Yola Monakhov is a New York-based visual artist. Her work explores the dialogue between analog and digital photography, and the relationship between a photographer’s mastery and the lives of its subjects. Awards include a Meredith S. Moody fellowship from Yaddo, and Fellowship from Greve in Chianti (FI) / Macina di San Cresci. She has been a contributing photographer for The New Yorker magazine since 2006, and her work has appeared in Esquire, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, and Harper’s. She received her MFA in visual arts and MA in Italian literature from Columbia University, and is currently Harnish Visiting Artist at Smith College, and faculty at the International Center of Photography. She was born in Moscow, Russia, and lives and works in Northampton, MA, and New York City.
Marina Blitshteyn a New York-based poet and an editor. Marina Blitshteyn was born in the USSR and immigrated to the US in 1991. She learned English from cartoons and hip-hop and was able to attain a Jewish education with the support of her parents and the Jewish community of Greater Buffalo. She went on to perform in local and international poetry slams, edit her university’s weekly publication and annual poetry journal, and sing in a short-lived local trip-hop duo. She holds a BA in English from SUNY Buffalo and an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University, where she also served as a University Writing instructor and consultant. She is the author of Russian for Lovers (Argos Books, 2011), which melodies of syllables and silences lead readers through the Russian alphabet from “A” to “Я.” She is currently an adjunct instructor at Fordham and Pace Universities.
Tuesday June 25
Jenia Fridlyand is a New York based photographer. She was born in 1975,
in Moscow and immigrated to the United States in 1989. After graduating from the University of Michigan, she moved to Paris where she studied photography at Centre Iris and Université Paris VIII. Jenia Fridlyand has been documenting Ilya and Emilia and Kabakov’s project, Ship of Tolerance. Her work reflects on the challenges of adolescence. Her website is
Polina Barskova, is known as one of the best Russian poets of her generation. She has won a number of awards for her poetry. Her scholarly publications include articles on Nabokov, the Bakhtin brothers, early Soviet film, and the anesthetization of historical trauma. She has also authored six books of poetry in Russian. Professor Barskova is currently working on a project entitled “Petersburg Beseiged: Culture of the Aesthetic Opposition.” She is an assistant professor of Russian literature, received her B.A. from St. Petersburg State University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.
Thursday June 27
Vera Iliatova is a Brooklyn-based visual artists who moved to the U.S. in 1991 at the age of 16 from St. Petersburg, Russia, however, she is still surprised at how much of a connection she feels between her paintings and the memories of her adolescence. The female figures in her paintings are based on self-portraits dressed up in a period wardrobe, they become projections for different psychological or emotional states. She received a MFA in Painting/Printmaking from Yale University, CT and a BA from Brandeis University, MA. Iliatova has completed a residency at Skowhegan School of Art, ME, and was a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Nominee in 2009.
Genya Turovskaya is a Brooklyn-based poet and a translator. She was born in Kiev, Ukraine. She is the author of Calendar (UDP 2002) and And The Tides (Octopus Books 2007). Her poetry and translations from Russian have appeared in Chicago Review, Conjunctions, Gulf Coast, Aufgabe, A Public Space, Octopus, jubilat, and other publications. Her translation of Aleksandr Skidan’s Red Shifting has recently been published by Ugly Duckling Presse. She has been the recipient of various awards and fellowships including a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, a Montana Artist Refuge Fellowship. She holds an MFA from Bard College, and she is the Associate Editor of the Eastern European Poets Series at Ugly Duckling Presse.
CoWorker Projects is a project led by Yulia Topchiy (former partner at Entwine) to showcase Night Art Series at Subtwine, the downstairs space at the West Village’s acclaimed cocktail and wine bar, Entwine. The series, held on Sunday and Tuesday nights, consist rotating art exhibition, video screenings, music and sound performances by artists working globally as well as locally. Subtwine provides an intimate setting for the CoWorker Projects to showcase striking video art, spark conversations between artists and audiences, and create opportunities for colleagues and friends to network in a meaningful way.

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